PDA

View Full Version : What to buy...



MSilvia
07-10-2008, 14:20
I got into very basic underwater photography some years ago, and have been limping along with a 2.1MP Canon A40 powershot in a WP-DC200S housing using a modified UK HID100 as a video light.

My wife and I are expecting a baby, and she wants (me) to get a better camera for the occasion. I obviously am looking at it as an opportunity to upgrade my underwater setup, and since it's what I'm used to, I'm leaning toward the Canon line.

My question: Since I'm not familiar with many of the more advanced features that have become available since my old camera was made, and since I understand that there's a popular hack that can enable locked features on some Canon models, what camera would you suggest would give me the most bang for the buck as someone who shoots for fun, often in video, and doesn't even own a strobe. I know I want to be able to shoot in RAW and take long video shots, but I don't really even know what else I'm looking for except a camera with a pretty high MP rating and an available underwater housing.

Thanks!

waytooslow
07-10-2008, 14:30
how much ya wanting to spend?

I recently went with a canon 720IS and canon housing - 190 got the camera (8 meg) and same for the canon housing, use the chdk hack to shoot raw. heck of a lot cheaper that getting a g9 to shoot raw. the chdk hack allows long videos (limited by card size)

the 40 was a great P&S for it's time.

CompuDude
07-10-2008, 15:37
Anything over 6 megapixels is unnecessary, unless you're planning to print posters or billboards. Frankly, even then, it's often unnecessary.

If you're looking for bang for the buck, I'd look at the Canon PowerShot A570is, and load up the CDHK hack to allow RAW. Without the hack, you have to get a G9 or DSLR to get RAW.

Camera plus housing should be less than $400 from a place like Amazon.com.

It has full manual controls, optical image stabilization, and it's easy to use. Lot of aftermarket lens add-ons available as well, if you want to shoot super macro or wide angle.

MSilvia
07-10-2008, 16:32
Great! Thanks for the tips.

digitalman
07-10-2008, 16:33
how much ya wanting to spend?

I recently went with a canon 720IS and canon housing - 190 got the camera (8 meg) and same for the canon housing, use the chdk hack to shoot raw. heck of a lot cheaper that getting a g9 to shoot raw. the chdk hack allows long videos (limited by card size)

the 40 was a great P&S for it's time.

You've peaked my interest as a canon owner. What is the chdk hack and where do you get it?

MSilvia
07-10-2008, 16:37
There's a sticky about it in this forum. In a nutshell, it's cheaper for Canon to make a bunch of nearly identical cameras and limit their capabilities with software than it is to make a bunch of physically different cameras for different price points. The hack unlocks a bunch of the features on the low-end cameras that normally you have to buy a more expensive one to get.

MSilvia
07-10-2008, 16:55
I just pulled the trigger on an A720is. I may not be shooting posters, but I do like to be able to crop the good bits out of what would otherwise be a junk shot.

thor
07-10-2008, 17:28
I bought a G-9 last year and it is well worth the money. It's very compact, has a great LCD screen and it is a close substitute for an SLR. Although I prefer to use an SLR, it is sometimes a burden to carry around. With kids, you want something you can stick in your pocket and have with you when they get their first haircut, take their first steps, spit up for the first time, first trip to the ER, first court date, etc.

Also the videos this camera takes have amazing definition for a P&S camera, and you can take fairly long videos, where some P&S limit the length to 30 seconds or so.

And it has RAW.

waytooslow
07-10-2008, 18:05
I just pulled the trigger on an A720is. I may not be shooting posters, but I do like to be able to crop the good bits out of what would otherwise be a junk shot.


Good choice, let me know if you have questions on the hack, been there done that and have it down. 8 meg is good all around. I am pretty happy with it, of course I am a canon guy since film days - anybody want to buy a EOS1 with drive etc? :smiley5:

next purchase will be a 5D, to go with all that glass I have gathering dust - but have other toys at ST to buy first.

The CHDK hack is a program that runs on the SD card - so no messing with firmware - basically it stops the camera from automaticlly running the conversion on the raw format to jpg, you can still do both or one or the other - the raw is the digital equivlant of film - kind of.
CHDK also has some pretty cool features added to different flavors, like movement sensing for shooting spy shots or lightning pics, continous video, wide bracketing for hdr shooting.... and others. highly suggest it.

harb99
07-10-2008, 20:09
I just pulled the trigger on an A720is. I may not be shooting posters, but I do like to be able to crop the good bits out of what would otherwise be a junk shot.

did you get a housing as well? if so - if you dont mind me being nosy - how much have you got in the setup?